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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 9, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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eastern. also this morning, "harper's" managin editor will discuss public housing. "washington ♪
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>> welcome to "washington journal." a man working for al qaeda was a double agent working for the cia. and governor romney won the three states he was on the ballot yesterday. the senator from indiana lost his primary and a 36-year career. we will hear what you think it means for the tea party movement in america. we will take calls from republicans all lead to hear about what you think about the future of your party. if you are in mountain pacific time further west, call us. h in on also weight i
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twitter. find us on facebook. you can email comments. here is the front page of the indianapolis star this morning. next up in the senate race, a democrat. after an honorable career, he deserved better on his way out. the revered and reasonable statesmen should not lose and a low-turnout election. the story by mary beth schneider who has appeared on our program , they handed him his retirement tuesday rejected his bid for a seventh term and nominating this state treasurer. it might have been considered
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one of the biggest upsets in in the end of political history. his age, his home, his conservative credentials and his voting record were all under assault. and defeated in indiana's primary, the long-term center loses. to give us some perspective on this race is jonathan allen, senior washington correspondent. as the indianapolis star pointed out, the center was trailing in the polls. what is the decision have to say about indiana politics and national politics? that theat it says is tea party movement from 2010
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that group of the health care the bay is still strong. it is organized and it is in connection with some of the d.c. groups that do fund- raising. in this particular instance, you talk of of some of the other organizations that will play heavily in republican primaries. we sought eighth in several states including delaware, alaska, colorado. there are fewer examples this time around because there are fewer republican races that are rarely hot. it looks like the senator probably has the under control. >> centers are fretting about 2014.
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it is making incumbents sweat. guest: every incumbent who is going to sweat in the days where americans hate congress. congressional approval ratings have fallen into the single digits last couple of years. i think what you're hearing and what my colleagues wrote about our people are in 2014 starting to position themselves to send tea party challengers. you might not have seen in two years out or four years out, but she raised money to calibrate the message and reposition himself, go back to indiana and
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establish a residence which he has not had since 1977. it makes him appear less like a creature of washington and more like a creature of the political stage. more like a hoosier. richard mourdouck mentioned washington. host: you mentioned the domestic experience versus foreign experience, but what lesson do other members of congress take away from this? is it about spending more time and homed in their district? gosh i think it is about all of those things. --guest: i think it is about all
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of those things. the sense that washington goes odd anymore with a couple of galaxies days, you could be in trouble really fast on multiple parts. where in just one area the head of voters felt he had strayed. he had philosophically strayed from the republican party to much. moderatesng the disappeared in congress. >> they are looking at losing the battle. -- the middle. what does this say about the makeup of congress and where we
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are headed? guest: it is looking more like the british system with a couple of very strong philosophical parties and not a lot of people crossing over between to try to make policy on an individual basis. frankly, we are already seeing in this year with battles over the budget between president obama and republicans in congress. we are no longer witnessing the small-scale fights over a little bit of funding here and there. it is a fight over who pays taxes and what programs get funded. host: a couple places that have but the trend is alaska, came back and entered a right in bed
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and one. senator lieberman of connecticut managed to run as an independent. are we going to see any more of that? guest: those the believe they can win in the general election, will see some of that. the front-runner in the race right now. i think it is there is certainly for voters to want somebody in the middle of moderate republicans and moderate democrats are there. but the people that tend to be the most motivated are at the polls of the parties. you end up with the republican
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party that is pretty conservative and a democratic party more likely to nominate liberals. host: our question for you this morning is what you think about the tea party strength in campaign 2012. we are reflecting on the loss of senator lugar yesterday's. caller: i am confused about the tea party. i am very conservative, but i don't see the tea party representing ron paul. there are about number of people on college campuses, and his big issues are to end the militarism, brinson fiscal stability back to -- or bring some fiscal stability back to our system. i believe the tea party is all
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about the christian right, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and we are going down. here is a 75-year-old candidate getting all the excitement of the campuses. everywhere he goes. mitt romney i can't vote for. i could not vote for john mccain. i have nowhere to go. mitt romney will not win this thing, he does not connect to -- i am a working guy. the tea party does not offer that. these guys are offering more war, more homeland security, one of the hugest and bureaucracies. you get raped when you go to the
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airport. what chris hasr to say. caller: i think that the tea party probably will get stronger. to me, that is what they are trying to protect. it is all based on trying to preserve -- it is not right for them to be out here. caller: by amity party member and went to the several
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functions in washington. not because it is the religious right or any fringe of cause. irresponsible american realizes you can't borrow 42 cents of every dollar you're spending. ron paul is basically libertarian, which is how fight for anarchy in some people's eyes. the functions, this is america. they stand in line, they don't shower the stream.
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these people go the work and to go on family outings on the saturday. host: the tea party has nothing to do with the general uprising among voters, they got to the head of the parade to pretend they are leading it. last take tha listen to night. [video clip] >> at the end of my term, i will look for opportunities to serve my nation and ancestor of indiana. i will continue to support the whole program anyway that i can. a high also want to build on my work related to nutrition and energy issues both locally and globally. i have no regrets about running
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for reelection. >> it is time. i wanted to be something you remember for this day. we began this campaign with the idea that we wanted to move the senate to a more conservative place. the more than that, we want to move this country to a better place. i began this race knowing the odds would be long and knowing that it would be difficult. a lot of the pundits want to be in this race mission: impossible. host: that as the ndf treasurer who won, beating incumbent senator dick lugar. from gary, indiana. did you vote yesterday? yes.ller:
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i voted for a lady, what's her name? move on, not appropriate. caller: i am a republican independent, i see this for america. they sent our jobs overseas and send our kids to die in the middle east based on lies and occupation. we are $17 trillion in debt and getting deeper in debt. we can continue down the same path and voting for people that we see in front of our tv every day, or we can put in new people that will be more responsible and could america back on the track of jobs, less giving away of our wealth, less spending.
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if we are going to spend, let's make sure that we have the money to spend. this is a victory for america, this is not a tea party issue. host: he also caught these occupied -- copies occupyquincy on that. the victory yesterday, doesn't have any reflection on the tea party's strength? he loses a bid to stay in the senate. one of washington's leading experts, he was up for reelection after a conservative backlash and denied him the nomination for a second term.
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it appears to be another victory for d party conservatives that defeated two gop senators and knocked off several more establishment favorites. with 80% reporting, the state treasurer was a had a 60% to 40%. the christian science monitor looked at the tea party movement before the election yesterday and they ask if this was a test race for the party in power. it is a chance for the anti-tax street party movement after it exploded onto the national political scene and reinvigorated a moribund republican party demonstrates that it still has influence. it drove the five-term senator arlen specter out of the republican party. and defeated the house gop leader mitch mcconnell sent
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person. some activists wonder or worry that their brand of leaderless and small government is seen as simply obstructionists. it goes on to say that in defeating hall lugar in indiana that has more tea party groups than any other midwestern state retains the capacity to lay the groundwork for national priorities. georgia joins us now out. >> a couple of points, the basis of the tea party grew is also the things that they don't like the obama is doing. when you put a tag like that on yourself, how do you expect conservatives to be able to continue to support you?
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it is kind of typical of how the congress has gotten out. why don't you live in a state where the people you represent are totally mixed up? i think it is an attitude, and not so sure it is a big movement. i went to a few meetings in 2009. i still feel that way, but i don't go anywhere. i read on the internet and to make myself more informed, but i don't have the party signs in front of my house. >> the issue seems to be the tea party refuses to compromise. good for them. north carolina approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. voters in north carolina approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage dealing a setback to gay-rights movement that had enjoyed significant momentum in recent years.
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the measure had enough support to pass according to the associated press. there is a hot band already on the books that until tuesday was the only state in the southeast that had not taken the step of incorporating the van into its constitution. opponents said it was necessary to prevent courts and future legislatures from invalidating the law. the effort provoke an outcry from gay-rights groups that said it was a significant step backward because it would bar civil unions and could have the unintended consequences for heterosexual couples. in milwaukee mayor will face the governor in a recall election. he earned the right to square off against the republican incumbent scott walker in a recall election.
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mr. walker easily turned back a token challenger in his republican primary while gathering 15,000 fewer votes than his would-be democratic challengers. officials predicted a turnout would be higher than any other gubernatorial primary since 1952. that enthusiasm might prove pivotal. voters have not decided who they will vote for according to a recent poll. a republican in just a town maryland who talked to us about campaign 2012. caller: i wanted to start off saying that you are my absolute favorite personality in the morning. i agree with the lady that called in, i will leave the basics behind the tea party were about smaller government. i am not an active member of the tea party, but i do support it.
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we want a small government and to what our officials to be held accountable for the votes that they make. when you have the center not even living in the state he is supposed to be representing for 30 years, the two don't mesh. and with respect to the gentleman caller you had on earlier with ron paul, i have actually a libertarian. we are also about smaller government, less spending, and i think that is why he is considered the grandfather of the tea party. i don't understand why the was called and anarchists. >> what do you think about talking in the news today that centrists on both parties are
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becoming less powerful in washington? gosh i find that to be true. the icf change happening in this country and i am not sure which way we're going to go. are we going more towards the european model where government takes care of you from cradle to grave, or are we going to go back to our roots where if you work hard, anyone can become successful in this country, even someone such as a janitor, for example. one of my friends on the street, her father was a janitor. when he passed away, he left her over half a million dollars. that is a lot of savings. anybody can do it. anybody.
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host: let's oklahoma -- take a look at this chart that the new york times put together. but talk, it is more conservative members. towards the bottom it is more liberal. you see a much greater number of folks that are facing a tough reelection, not running again. richard mourdock will be on "washington journal" tomorrow morning. he faces his final battle in november. democrats wanted him to win because they thought it would be an easier challenge for a democrat to take on. karen joins us in oklahoma city. caller: i wanted to call
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because you're talking about the tea party, and i think that the left has been desperately trying to characterize them as a radical group, calling them racist and not see end crazy, and all of these other things, and really is a movement of regular people trying to rein in the government. it is just out of control spending. there have been comments about the obstructionist congress, supposedly. if you remember the first two years of the obama administration, the democrats were shutting out the republican party trying to pass bills that nobody had red. it seems to me that obstructionism in this situation was exactly the right thing to
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do. as far as the influence of the tea party, the thing that is good about the tea party, rather than being a third party, they have influenced the republican party in ways that a lot of people agree with. i am not part of the tea party, but i agree with a lot of the things they have been pushing for. and as far as the population, i agree with the lady that was talking about people pushing for government that takes care of you from cradle to grave. not only do we need to go back to considering things like the gentleman that was a janitor at a save lots of money, that those people are successful. and the idea of self-reliance is what this country was built on,
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not depending on somebody to take care of you can solve all of your problems for you. that is the deep divide between the left and the right. the left wants to take over your life and the right is fighting for people to take over their own lives. think the tea party is just a trojan horse for a rush limbaugh or sarah palin groups, basically. i would not call 35 years in the senate any kind of a loss. the elections are fraud, basically. it was designed to do exactly what it did. nothing is going to change unless we have a revolution, for the most part. i agree about the war is bankrupting us, and we are
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basically the modern day third reich. >> let's look at some other stories in the news. the latest bomb plot targeting u.s. aircraft had was from inside the terrorist group- operatives, including an agent that posed as a suicide bomber. the intelligence service played a particularly important role in penetrating the affiliate's and recovering an explosive device. the cia tried to the bonds movements for weeks and killed a suspected spotter's after the device seized. the wall street journal those with the headline that the bomb plotter was an informer and it looks like these oppose a bomber at the center of a foiled plot to bring out a jetliner was
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actually a double agent. looking at some other stories in the news, heading towards congress. senator republicans blocked a bill to reverse a rise in the student loan rate. they blocked the dublin -- blocked an attempt to key student interest rates from dublin. the senate vote was 52-45, failing to reach the 60 votes needed to begin debating the measure. the moderate republican from maine voted present, the story says that it was down party lines. obama pushes congress to back a to do list. the president called on congress to support the plan featuring job creation and a mortgage relief measures.
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congress revs up talk of a highway bill. the key programs running, a bipartisan group together from both branches of the house and senate met yesterday to hammer out a map of the long-term spending bill. roger joins us from new york. go ahead, roger. caller: thanks for c-span, we really do appreciate it. i honestly really kind of believed in the tea party when it started. something more than the norm in this country. something needs to be shaken up because this is ridiculous. special interests and everything like that have made in gridlock.
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there is really nothing to be done with this. it is turning into a kind of a nightmare, the tea party. it is about some of occupied and the other side. everyone is trying to figure out the next way to go, and it is not forward thinking at all. i have no idea why -- host: we lost roger. it is difficult to pin down brought commonality. it means different things to different people in different candidates. in the end, it tends to boil down to individual issues and
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individual races. another person on facebook said the tea party is alive and well in virginia, george allen will get another shot at his seat. the tea party candidate " won't be contained either. they are tied in the senate race, 46% in the polls. millions have been raised and spent by the campaign, but it fails to shift to the poll numbers. according to a new washington post poll, among the most competitive in the country. the former governors are tied, and they are looking to succeed the retiring senator. both parties believe virginia will be a key determinant of which side controls the set in
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january. toby, you're on the program. if the tea party is the party that they claim to be, they will side with ron paul. he is for government responsibility and all the things that the tea party claims they stand for. it seems to be a generic form of the gop party. romney will not beat obama. all he is doing is bashing obama, and it is impossible for me to figure out where the man stands at the moment. >> how long are we going to put up with the tea party ruining our great country? it makes no sense to elect someone that intends to dissolve the government.
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a republican in tulsa, oklahoma. good morning. caller: i was a republican when i first voted for nixon over kennedy. i want to say this about the new republican party. they became republicans after 64 and 65. now they are republicans in name only. from the tea party side, they are the same dixiecrats. where is the ability to work with other people? they're so strident in what they do. is it true vice president cheney got -- [unintelligible] that i hadn't heard story.
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we are asked about the decision to have only republican callers? is the left wing broken? we do have only democratic calls, but this morning we want to have republican calls to hear about what members of the party thought about the tea party influence. we will have a liberal economist in new york times columnist that will be joining us, so we hope you find some balance in that. we will also hear from the representative tim huelskamp. and we'll talk to an editor about harper's magazine about public housing coming up this morning. i remember the gop debate a couple weeks ago when the audience cheered the hypothetical death of health
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insurance and battered a gay soldier. not one candidate said this was inappropriate. 3 d party crowd and a great candidates, so much for christian values. caller: i would like to say that -- i called earlier, and as long as the tea party continues to protect -- host: dan in des moines, republican. caller: thanks for taking my call. how would like to point out that things like -- hello? i would like to point out that things in the last few years, there have been a lot of people that call on the republican line that say that they used to voted
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for republicans and they ended out bashing the republican party. i think it would be useful, when you get somebody like that, move on to a new color. host: what you think about the tea party's influence? caller: it delutes the c-span value. host: we can't control that. what do you think about the tea party influence? caller: the problem is that the word "party" is in their name. anmakes people think it's actual party when it's a gathering of people that have a
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common or similar interests. host: tom, republican. caller: i watched politics the last couple years a little more closely because i am worried about my kids and grandkids. we have republicans, democrats, and independence of on that hill running the government into the ground with $16 trillion yen deficit. people come up and say enough is enough, and there is something good about that. look where we are because of everybody supposedly compromising. our kids and grandkids future is being ruined. they all should be thrown out. host: do you think there should be term limits? caller: i don't know what the
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exact answer is to it, but the bottom line is that anyone that goes up there that does not do right as far as their votes need to be held accountable. host: are you going to go campaign nor do fund-raising, how are you going to make your voice heard? caller: i am fired up, the news media has made the tea party something like a big monster in the room. it had something to do with the american people having enough. we are done with the politics of this garbage because we need to worry about the country. caller: i think the tea party is good for america. they are civil, they tried to
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get things done, they get shut down by the media. host: keep going, roy. caller: i think they are what we need at this point in history. i don't think my kids are going to grow up in a better america that i grew up in. host: ronald writes, what is the platform for the tea party? maybe we will get some information from our next guest. we will hear that coming out from the congressman republican freshman from kansas. we'll also talk politics as well, and later, we are joined witby paul krugman. we wanted to leave you with a video with his first public
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message since he suffered a stroke. let's take a look at this video. [video clip] >> he suffered a stroke to the right side of his brain, it will affect his ability to move his left arm, possibly his left leg, and may involve some facial -- >> will likely leave the 52- year-old physically challenged, but they hope he will stay strong. >> he faces an uphill fight to reuse the left side of his body. >> i suffered a stroke of the twenty first of january, and thanks to the doctors of the rehabilitation institute of chicago, i am walking again. leading to by ho -- my hope
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that the 45 steps from the parking lot to the senate front door -- i am currently enrolled in a walking study for a stroke patients. it is an intensive program. one of the interesting set of they had was a set up with silver balls that all recorded what was being generated on the computer. they have ways of making things more difficult. it was like the way of the baby on her ankle that really does a slow you down. sometimes it makes you work really hard. this is the standard speed of a walker.
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before they said we would walk over ground, that would be really hard. village say just how to do -- they would say just to do a lap of the hospital floor. i want to thank everyone just for the patients they have given me. i want to thank the people of illinois for granting me the honor of representing them and the united states senate. to borrow less and tax less to help fix the economy. ♪
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host: what do you make of the loss of senator lugar? we have been looking what that means for the tea party and what it means for moderates. guest: it means quite a few things for washington and it will send another message that we have a lot of work to do. america is still $15.80 trillion in debt, i am sure that you have heard the same thing in indiana. folks are worried about the future for their grandchildren. we need to make a change to save the country. host: lugar joins the long list of those that draw the ire of their party. he can hardly be called a
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moderate because he opposed many of the maintenance of the obama had administration. he also backed a flat tax supported by wealthy wage earners. guest: this was obviously a republican primary, and they said they needed a more conservative senator in the united states congress. i hear the same sentiment back home. actually provide some solutions and fox. -- and thoughts. they are ready to try someone else to fix those problems. host: you are a member of the tea party caucus. how do you define the tea party and your role in that? they say it is more of a movement that actual organization. guest: i think that is accurate. in kansas, tea party folks are very concerned about the massive
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amounts of debt and massive amounts of spending. it seems to be out of control. there is still the concern out there. host: what are you looking at in terms of fiscal restraint? house republicans are networking at boosting defense spending and cutting back on social programs. guest: i think all of the above. we cannot disagree on the fact that we can run trillion dollar deficits in perpetuity. it is not sustainable. it is an opinion on how quickly we can and should do that.
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that did not pass, but frankly, i don't think we have five years to fiddle around while we watch from burning -- rome burning. host: how do you come to terms with your goals and what the party at large is pushing? guest: even as a freshman, it takes a number of folks to get the job done. it is a team effort to work across the party lines. there is an area of spending, they all come together and they don't cut spending. i think that has been the case. we have massive deficits, the republican president. host: the house bill will
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extend major initiatives of the obama administration. it would cut $261 billion in domestic spending over the next decade and a rollback portions of the 2010 health care law. guest: what was your question about that? host: my question would be, how do you come to terms with defense spending? you are content with these cuts, but you want to see more and deeper? guest: in august, the federal government was given an opportunity to borrow more money and we were promised cuts. this is an attempt to move that cut the round, but we still have to make those cuts. i think it will probably need to
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happen because that is what occurred. that is the deal. folks tell me that they are frustrated about washington and giving $2.10 trillion to spend. the vast majority of the cuts won't occur until after the next election. ,e're still talking about cuts that as a major concern here that most average americans say we can't run this deficit. it is a spending problem and a revenue problem. host: our guest is a republican from kansas. he is also a farmer and a rancher. caller: lugar was not a moderate
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republican, he was a very conservative republican. conservative republicans cannot be trusted to keep their word. the budget plan was supposed to be in effect. you guys are cutting everything. you cut the nutrition program to finance your tax cuts for the rich. in the need to stop calling yourselves the small government party. you are passing all these big government in true civil laws all over the country. you are the vaginal probe party, the voter suppression party. these are intrusive government. >> i have opposed quite a few of those indicted appreciate that concern. when we talk about that in
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washington, there is no republican that or democrat that, it is an american problem. they know that we have to reduce spending. the greatest issue in that, i was in the budget committee earlier debating on food stamps. there has been a 270% increase in food stamp spending. we talk about reducing a minor percentage of that and you can't take a few% after you raise it, that is out of control spending. i did a constituent will last night and 90% said that we have to reduce spending, including food stamps and every program. host: politico has the story
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looking at money spent by former presidents. taxpayers picked up the tab for bill clinton's office and george w. bush's $80,000 phone bill. guest: those are pretty expensive. each of our congressional offices is given a particular budget depending on the size of the district. we refuse to spend everything we were given. they say that is only a few million dollars you will turn back among the freshmen and that is not much in the big picture. if everybody in washington would cut 10%, we would start to get something. millions out of the billions and billions add up to trillions. to fund this overspending, it is
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not sustainable. and we should be concerned that the folks funding the spending spree. host: emma, go ahead. hi, emma. emma, last try? hi. name?'s your from: my anmname is tom ohio. host: go ahead. caller: i think it is a mixture. as we have to cut. i see a philosophy where we have an apple, this guy that is running out will to make -- apple will make $167,000 an hour and he will not be taxed. he pays his employees $1 an
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hour. washington does not dictate what folks get paid, and i know that as a concern, but frankly, is how the system works. some folks may more than others, folks that do a good job but make more. tom mentioned the issue of taxes. he will want higher taxes on somebody else, but 49% of americans don't pay federal income taxes. most folks should have to pay part of that system and find the government. i know the president always talks about 38% of federal income taxes which is probably the most progressive system in the world. somehow getting everyone to pay more, we can't cut spending, it
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is something that is a revenue problem and that is something that we will try to solve and provide a solution. host: nick joined us from fairfax, virginia. caller: congressman, thank you for being on today. c-span, thank you for the programming. i had a question for the congressman that has changed since i heard your remarks about the food stamps. my original question was, you are focusing on cutting government and cutting off what we see as waste, or programs that we would like to do but can't really afford to do in this economy. what are your thoughts about increasing the base or increasing the tax rate to raise revenue? you talked about the food stamp
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spending increase, 270%. it is there, and to say our spending has increased and calling that a problem, more people are falling off a bridge and a landing in the safety net. perhaps it is that rather than the program being out of control. guest: the obama economy is the weakest economic recovery since the great depression. the average wait for americans to find a new job is 39 weeks. if a college graduate would start today, it would be valentine's day next year before they found a job. the 270% increase on food stamps, there were 19 million americans.
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the economy is so poor under threat than obama. it will mean that we have the single largest tax increase in speed -- in history. if nothing happens in washington, we will have the biggest tax increase that will be devastating to the economy. it seems that the party has a workable plan to devote this tax increase. host: how do you make som
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e inroads? the party might not be supporting everything i want, but how do you convince them that your message and your point can make a difference in washington? we had many town halls, and washington makes me depressed. it is not washington that is going to solve problems, it is elections and getting the american people engaged. the american people get it. they know that we have a problem. what is the 40% rule? every dollar we spend, 40% is borrowed. the children and grandchildren will pay 40%, that is a huge
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threshold. it is not sustainable. the republican plan that passed is that we have flattened the system, removed special-interest loopholes. i think it will host: let's hear from patti, a democrat in sterling, virginia. caller: good morning. i would like to start my comments with the congressman has this rhetoric, but this is not the obama economy. that is the first point i would like to make. this is the result of almost eight whole years of republican control of the executive and legislative branches. instead of listening to a prominent princeton economist, who is a nobel prize winner,
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paul krugman, whose basic point is we cannot cut our way into growth, these tea party activists that they pay no better, they think that the knee-jerk reaction to what the bush administration brought us to, which was the brink of the worst economic crisis since the depression, which president obama has worked furiously to keep us from snapping back there while he is trying to do with this reactionary congress. somehow they think cutting is going to stimulate the economy. the republicans consistently protect the defense budget. i worked there and it is the biggest stimulus package of this world has never known. never acknowledged that and it's ridiculous.
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host: let's get a response from our guest, but we will have paul krugman on later this morning. you'll join us in 45 minutes. actually, a half-hour. congressman, how do you react to concerns about whose fault it is and the defense spending being essentially stimulus? guest: i think that patti knows the president has been barack obama over three years. when is? it someone is? -- when is it someone else's false? everyone wants to blame each other. he has been president over three years. the price of gas was $1.89 and look at what we are paying today, $4 in this area. the deficit was well below half of what it is today. this is the only president in history to run a trillion dollar deficit and he has done so for
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four straight years paul krugman. is dead wrong on the stimulus. they promised if we borrowed $800 billion in the stimulus package, the un and plummet rate would never be below 8%. it is still above 8% i don't know how many years later. we have another $800 billion in debt. it's time to quit blaming folks. time for president and his supporters to say their policies have failed. we hope that the debate in the presidential campaign will focus on this, his policies have failed. it does not help the ball and spend our way. it was a massive failure. host: let's look at the unemployment numbers nationally and in your home state of kansas. 8.1% nationally. in kansas, 6.1%. we are getting those numbers from the bureau of labor statistics. and now this on twitter -- guest: absolutely.
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i don't think anybody needs to pay more on taxes until we get spending under control. the last time washington actually reduce spending year- to-year was before elvis presley's first album. americans have the right to be skeptical. the republicans don't seem like they're going to cut spending and the democrats are not cutting spending. it has been decades since we have cut spending year-to-year. usually they talk about cutting the rate of growth on spending. it's doing long-term damage to the economy. host: our guest is on the budget committee. we mentioned the story from wall street journal, looking at house republicans, how they want to prevent defense spending cuts and they have advanced a plan -- the ranking democrat on your
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committee pushback, chirs van hollen, of maryland. hear what he had to say. >> the plan before us is fought for several reasons for. first, it's only for one year. even then, it does not totally removed the sequester. lists of the sequestered for discretionary spending, but leaves it in place for all mandatory spending except for defense. as a result, it keeps the team% across-the-board cut in medicare -- to% across-the-board cuts in medicare, for example. second, it continues the lopsided approach of the full republican budget, if protecting special-interest tax breaks at the expense of vital safety net programs. host: what to do you think of the congressman's comments? guest: typical partisan comments. i am understand that folks always say you cannot cut my spending. i would like to try it once in washington, because i support
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more cuts in defense than many of my republican colleagues. i supported looking at ways in food stamps and all the growth in stimulus spending. the general republican approach in the house has been to rollback spending tupras stimulus levels. 2008 spending and 2007 was enough already. idea that we cannot rollback to a few years ago, the idea we cannot cut and% after growing by 270%, we cannot afford to hundred 60% growth in food stamps. and the 40% rule is we are burdening our children and grandchildren, because they are the ones that will pay for this spending. fourth graders and fifth graders in kansas, a young man asked me why our taxes always going up? it is because our spending keeps going up. our taxes are higher, spending
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is higher, and our economy is moving slower as a result. host: henry, independent caller. caller: thank you, good morning. this is enough of this foolishness. first, the poor did not create this economic depression that we are in. it was two unfunded boris, tax breaks to the rich -- and funded wars. the banner on your screen this morning reads "and boost defense spending and cut social programs." we have had 10 years of war that hurt our budget. i think it was a republican president by the name of the dwight eisenhower who warned us about the military industrial complex. it is the very thing that has been promulgated by this congressman and the republican party.
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it was the republican president that warned us about perpetual military industrial complex spending. it is hypocritical. don't forget that this is the same party that drove us into this economic recession. when bill clinton left office there was a budget surplus. we came in and funded wars and gave tax cuts that were off the budget and all of a sudden they have become this great watchman over the american economy. it is hypocritical foolishness. guest: i would love to take credit for all the good things and cannot be blamed for any of the bad things, as a freshman. of things did occur. currently, 15.8 trillion dollars in debt. spending is out of control, continuing to grow. they are not cutting spending. it is expected to grow and grow. the president has proposed a barrel another $9 trillion over the next decade if. i'm here to tell you i don't
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think that's possible. spending has to be cut on the defense side and the social welfare side. it is not sustainable. we have overextend ourselves around the world. frankly, the idea that we can continue to spend and borrow, we have a presidential campaign going on. this president extended the bush tax cuts. he said the last thing you want to do in the middle of a recession is you don't raise taxes in a recession. we will probably be in a recession. the idea that at the end of the year we are going to raise taxes on every american taxpayer, the rich and poor alike. idea that that is going to create more jobs is silly and. the idea that we can continue to spend a tremendous levels but out of control. most american people would say cut the spending and let's start
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now. cut the republican spending and cut the democrats' spending and let's get the budget in balance. the obama proposal is to never balance. the republican proposal would balance in 20 something years. the middle ground is i don't think we can wait more than five years, but we will see what happens. host: and do you have the ear of house speaker john boehner? guest: that depends, i think a freshman class gets a lot of attention as a whole. it's not a one-man show in our nation's capital. it's about working together. i think there's a pretty good group of us that have a strong impact on driving the house. more conservative, more to what the american people are looking for. in 2006 republicans were in control. then speaker pelosi for four years. now we have a new speaker and i think we have helped change the
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house. the republican side is very attuned to what republicans like myself are looking for. host: to use the house leadership's getting the same if republicans hold on to the house? guest: it seems to be the case. host: would you like to see them be more conservative? guest: i think it will be more about the presidential side. before we get through the new congress, we will have lame-duck hill. we will run out of money after the next election and they will want more borrowing authority. we have numerous programs that will expire at the end of the year, and the tax increase to. i am worried about what happens the end of this year. this could be jeopardized and our financial rating once again by what we do if we do the wrong thing at the end of the year, if we continue to spend and borrow, think we will lose our triple-a credit rating if we're not careful. the republicans inblica
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annapolis, maryland, wellcome. caller: >> there was a question in the washington post last year about $60 trillion being sent to the middle east and a large part of that money was missing and they did not know where it was initially and they were determined it ended up in al qaeda in the hands of the taliban. and there was a book called funding the enemy that called money." ournd billions of dollars went to finance the taliban and al qaeda. can you explain to me, is anybody in congress investigating that? has there been any progress made to determine who is responsible for that kind of irresponsibility?
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this is unbelievable that our troops are being sent overseas and give their lives and we are financing the other side behind closed doors? host: let's get a response. guest: i am not aware of the situation. i believe billions of dollars wasted overseas, whether or not you supported the wars and those activities, frankly, the effort has been throwing a lot of money at a problem and i don't think in many cases it has worked. $30 billion a year for our foreign aid programs. we are giving money to folks that detest us. giving $1.5 billion every year to pakistan. the largest single recipient is the state of israel from our foreign aid. host: our guest is on the budget committee. he also serves on agriculture
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committee and veterans affairs. there's a story from the associated press setting members of congress are expressing doubt on plans by the va to hire 9200 additional workers -- this comes on the heels of the report about long waits time for veterans getting care. guest: we heard yesterday in testimony the va committee and heard from looking at reports that clearly no one is for sure how long you have to wait. they don't know how to measure that accurately. they are using old computer systems more than a decade old. the idea we cannot find a way to actually track how long folks serve their country have to wait for mental health services and just adding more folks in the brass is not going to solve that problem. it is a a systemic problem
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that is typical far broader senate. spending more money does not always solve the problem. host: what's your solution? guest: let's find out how long veterans have to wait for their mental health services. put another few thousand people to work in the va system does not help you when you live a few hundred miles away, as some people in my district are. it is always wrapped around more bureaucracy. there's a report, as you indicate, and they say we have to hire more people. we found a lot of discrepancies in the system. we are working hard to improve that. again, as the caller indicated, this is a massive budget -- $3.80 trillion in spending, and trying to find out where is being wasted is a full-time job. congress is on duty and both
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parties are looking closely at that. host: the congressman represents dodge city, hutchinson, and selena, in the first district in kansas. charlie is on the line. caller: good morning. congressman huelscamp, it has taken approximately over three decades to get us to the national debt that we are at. all that was supply-side economic policies. you expect and your gop and the tea party expect that we are going to change everything overnight when it took over three decades to get us where we are? the solution, in my opinion, is gradually reduced spending, but you have to do compromise. spending is a big issue, but
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unfair taxation is another. there are taxes for the rich. the tax relief for the rich, you are claiming the bush tax cuts will expire and it will be the biggest tax increase. it may be an increase at that point, but it's been a drain. host: let's get a response. guest: one thing to remember, these are not the bush tax cuts. they are the bush-obama tax cuts as president obama extended the tax cuts about a year ago. 85% of those tax cuts go to the middle or lower class says. 49% of americans actually pay no federal income taxes. we have the most progressive income tax system in the world, but it is a mess. it is decades and decades of
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special-interest handouts, loopholes, credits for. we have over $1 trillion of tax credits for which they called tax expenditures in the tax code. it is based on power in washington giving handouts to special interest. i think we need to throw out to the whole tax code. that is the proposal even though it's not in the bill. we need to put this in detail. let's skip on with it. april 1, 2012 is when america became the highest tax country in the world for businesses and corporations. we are number one. and have the idea we could raise our status even higher if we could increase our already highest tax rate in the world and somehow expect american businesses to compete. what has occurred is not three decades of overspending, but there has been a significant increase under this president. they have added $5 trillion in new debt out of the 15.8 trillion. but this president promised he would cut the deficit in half when it was 500 billion.
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instead he doubled the deficit. this is under democrat president and democrat congress,. we had speaker nancy pelosi before that. the idea we can continue to borrow and spend and regulate and somehow the economy will get better, i am surprised they continue to grow the economy even withwith negative indicators. caller: the biggest bureaucracy of the pentagon. the biggest agency in. bureaucracy in the in i was in the military in vietnam. if you want to tell about waste and inefficiency, look at the military. your diagnosis of where these problems are is faulty, as is paul ryan's. the mandatory budget with its
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fight the tax -- fica tax was in balance for the last decade. the biggest imbalance is in the discretionary budget where it's dominating member, the military -- i second the guy from south carolina and the lady from virginia -- of that 40% deficit that you are complaining about, is almost exclusively to the $1.30 trillion in military expenditure. it is that high because we have to include the cost of our wars, which is part of the interest we are paying. you have to include things like va and the nuclear regulatory agency which oversees our nuclear stockpiles. it's $1.30 trillion. if you don't address the pentagon and address it big time, you are guilty of fiscal malpractice. guest: i think something the
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gentleman needs to indicate to the president of united states who actually runs the pentagon. i had an exchange with mr. panetta and he assured us that he has cut every last wasteful think in the pentagon. at that time we found out they were building a special soccer facility for terrorists at guantanamo bay and he did not know about it. a half million dollars. there's tremendous waste. multiple agencies including the pentagon. the pentagon, department of defense is the only budget that cannot be altered. mr. panetta was excited to announce by 2017 they could actually handle an audit in the department of defense. every other agency in this town can be audited, but the department of. defense can of -- department of defense cannot. i think we spent about half of
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$1.30 trillion on the military. i asked mr. panetta do you have plans to implement the sequestered? they have not. i have concerns both parties in this town are not willing to cut defense. earlier the caller talked about president eisenhower. he was originally from my district in kansas. he had a tremendous impact and we have to look closely at all spending whether it is the republican spending more democrats spending a. we cannot afford it at the end of the day. host: you have been part of a monthly conversation with conservatives on capitol hill. tell us about it, the third installment today. guest: i consider myself to be conservative and it's a chance
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to sit and have an open discussion with members of the media and our colleagues. we have about a dozen members show up and we take questions. it is amazing. congress has changed so much in the last 20 years of. in the last two or three years the idea that some freshmen members of congress newly elected can express an opinion and attempt to influence the process is unusual. usually they make you wait for a decade. but it is such a big freshman class and because the congress is more transparent, the entire policy process is much more transparent. it needs to be enhanced to give us a message to talk with our colleagues. people are not concerned about tomorrow necessarily. my constituents say i am concerned about what happens with my children and grandchildren. we have a massive financial crisis coming our way. and it is about our spending on health care. medicare will eat our lunch.
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every day in america we have 10,000 baby boomers that turns 65. they are going on medicare and medicaid. what the republican proposal has been is to reform and save medicare. that is where the real crushing impact on our budget will be, all the retirees. there's no plan in washington to deal with that. host: a question on twitter -- what do you think about that? guest: i'm not sure what the food stamp challenges. host: living on food stamps. guest: it's not the idea people live on food stamps. people would rather have a paycheck. that is what makes this president different from myself and others. almost 45 million americans on food stamps and he says look at what we are doing, i would love
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to see no one on food stamps, so let's skip the economy growing again. the administration prescription has been a failure. we have the entire stimulus package which will eventually cost $1.10 trillion and they promised the unemployment rate would not go over 8%. it has never gone under 8%. if they had done nothing it would've been 6%. i will take 6% over 8% any day. the idea we can not shaved a few percentage points off the massive spending, let me give you one example on food stamps that upsets me. washington, d.c., and 16 different states had a little scheme and it is still going where the male and individual a $1 check from someone who does not qualify for food stamps. by mailing them to $1 check or $5 check, that makes them qualify for food stamps when they otherwise do not qualify. nobody in washington or in america says if you cannot make
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it, we will help you out with food stamps, nobody would deny that, but the idea that we have a fraud going on to make people qualify that have sufficient income that would not normally qualify. host: how do you get to the heart of what our tweeter says for what to do about people who cannot find jobs and need to get by, they don't have a job right now and needs to feed their family? guest: how i relate to them is how i relate to them and home. charity starts and home and not in washington, d.c. there's a lot of americans that you're being charitable is giving away other people's money. my wife and i and my kids believe in giving to our community and through our church. it is a very american approach, very different than the european approach to. that's the way we like it in america. host: republican caller in
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alabama, aileen. caller: i want to thank the congressman for all the work he's doing. i have been a republican many years now, but i don't agree with not taxing the all-pro wealthy. i think it would go in a long way in the perception of what republicans are trying to do if they would tax the wealthy. and as far as the very rich and ceo's being job producers, i don't really agree, because they are the ones that ship jobs abroad. guest: can i ask a question, elaine? what percentage should americans pay on their income, what should be the top rate? caller: i don't know about that, but a few years ago i had an income of around $200,000. i fell under the alternative
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minimum tax. i would just a 38%, myself. that has gone down, luckily, for me. i just think when you are making -- and i know it is not going to go real far as far as reducing the debt, but when we have ceo's making $10 million and above, $8 million, i think they can afford to pay a whole lot more attacks as than a working guy that's making $40,000 a year. guest: they generally do pay a higher rate. we have one of the most regressive systems in the world. the top 1%, the president likes to talk about them and they go to his fund-raisers and donate to his campaign and they paid 38%. folks that make $40,000 and
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under, i've been in that category much of my life, on average, they don't pay any federal income taxes to. a third of those that file tax returns actually get a paycheck back. we have a very progressive system. it's not a revenue problem. it might make us feel good to say we are going to take more money from the heavily of ge. it's wrong that ge does not pay any income taxes. that's for all the tax credits politicians to put in the system. i would like to fly in the tax code and get rid of most of those loopholes and exemptions and mature everybody pays a fair share. i would support a flat tax, a fairfax, and the proposal we are looking at in the house, a two- tier system, and%, to%, make sure everybody pays. you would have a more equal system if we did that. host: is romney reaching out to conservatives? guest: i think we will be surprised by how conservative
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mr. romney will be. during his presidency. host: if he runs on a different platform than what it plans to serve on, would that be misleading? guest: i think he will talk about the same thing, big picture issues, like i have talked about this morning. i think most americans get frustrated, but the big picture is america is broke. we need more jobs. how we are going to do that is either we get more tired of washington and bureaucrats and in control ofen health care? i think if mr. romney stays the same on the campaign trail, americans are looking for more americans in control rather than more bureaucrats and politicians. i think he will reach out to conservatives because that is
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what is hearing on the campaign trail. that is how you get elected. the other day the president said it was the private sector that creates jobs. i was shocked to hear that. you are the president that said we needed to borrow $800 billion and spend it to stimulate the economy. it is the private sector that creates jobs. how you govern properly and effectively is to institute those type of proposals. host: tim huelskamp is from the first district in kansas, thanks for joining us this morning. next we will talk with new york times economists and columnist paul krugman on his new book. later, are spotlight on magazine series takes a look at the evolution of public housing in america with ben austen of "harper's" magazine. first a news update from c- >> it's 8:31 eastern, an update on the discovery of a new underwear bomb. the man who discovered the device was a double agent
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working for the cia. he is now safely out of yemen where he had won al qaeda trusts. speaking on condition of anonymity, the official says the man was also working with saudi intelligence agency. a new poll shows support for the afghan war has reached a new low with only 27% of americans saying they support the effort. in results released today, 66% say they are opposed to the war, with 40% saying they are strongly opposed. a year ago that figure was 37% to favor the war. the year before that support was at 46%. turning to the international economy, the greek conservative leader says that catastrophe would be certain and immediate if the country withdraws from international bailout commitments. he came in first in national elections and insists it is imperative the country remains in the euro. stock futures are pointing lower
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today on deepening skepticism over the euro zone debt crisis. that of the opening -- ahead of the opening bell, delaware futures are down 87 points. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> i thought it was important to write a book that took people's movements seriously. the movement that elected obama, how did they build a? also, the tea party movement, which seemed to come out of nowhere. how does it work? occupy wall street. i thought those were important things to take seriously and look at them from a we the people perspective. >> former white house adviser van jones on social movements in america today, saturday night at 10:00 eastern on "booktv. also this weekend, the american spectator founder contends modern liberalism is flawed and has no answers for today's political issues. that is sunday night at 11:00,
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on c-span 2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: paul krugman, author of in this depression now" he also writes for the new york times. joining us from new york city this morning. thanks for being with us. guest: good morning. host: let's start with the title of your book. economists say we are in a bit of an economic recovery and they've used the term recession. you have this dramatic phrase of "depression." guest: well, the way i think about it is the recession is when things are heading down. a depression is when things are down. we are way down. we have some months when things look a little better and some months when they don't. we have basically been moving sideways pretty much for a couple years. it is a terrible situation out there. almost 4 million americans have been out of work more than a year. around 13 million are out of work in total.
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job opportunities for recent graduates of college are largely nonexistent. this is an ongoing really bad situation which has been going on for years and has every prospect of continuing. it is not as bad as the great depression. butas bad as the 1930's, worse than anything since the 1930's. the right way to think about it is that this is a depression, a long period of substandard economic performance that is doing a lot of human damage to this country. host: you dedicate your to the unemployed, who deserve better, you say. guest: i think it is because they did not do anything wrong. we talk about, there's a tendency to say we over borrowed and had access. if people that had jobs did not do that. that's not their fault. and it is gratuitous. this thing could be solved very easily. i've spent a lot of time looking at what people were saying during the 1930's.
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you heard a lot of the same things that you hear now, this is long term, you need structural reform, and it cannot be solved quickly, and so on dividends came the increase in government spending plans and preparations for world war ii. just like that we were back to full employment. we could do the same thing right now. this is the bad thinking and political deadlock among our elite is keeping millions of americans in a state of desperation. they deserve better. host: our guest is paul krugman. the is the daughter of in this depression now" and is the winner of the nobel prize in economics. if you would like to call, here are the numbers -- i have a wall street journal editorial reacting to the win of francois hollande in france defeating president nicolas sarkozy.
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you have your ideas about why this is an interesting turn of events. but the wall street journal says this is actually a response not calling for more freedom and less austerity but it says sarkozy and his government just cannot do it well enough, they did not follow through well enough. his government responded by raising sales and capital gains taxes, and complaining germans worked too hard, and trying to pin much of the blame for economic troubles on immigrants. guest: amazing. we basically had been pretty much all the western world and certainly within your, we had exactly what conservatives want. we have an austerity programs. we have had a turn toward trying to have less government, to have less support for the economy, which has been a
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disaster. the response is your not doing it right. i actually don't think the vote in france was particularly the populists have a clear idea of where it wants to go, but the front public is saying this thing we are doing is not working and we need. something need -- this thing we are doing is not working and we need something new. host: is it true that the u.s. tried stimulus and europe tried austerity? guest: we did not do a whole lot of stimulus. if you were reading my columns in early 2009, the beginning of the obama administration, i was tearing if my hair out publicly to say this was not an adequate program and that it will look like a failure and people will feel like the idea of stimulus was discredited when in fact we never tried it. if you look at cutbacks at the state and local level, they are
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our own version of european- style mustard. the europeans have done it on a much more aggressive scale. the results are clear. whether cutting government spending is bad for the economy when it is already depressed, your question has been answered. look at the austerity results in europe. we got what amounted to a massive unethical human experiment on economic policy in real populations. we just found out which economic doctrines don't work. the answer is austerity does not work. host: john is joining us on the democratic line from louisville, ky. caller: good morning. my comment, i hear republicans like the guy that was on before talking about rising medical costs. i used to be republicans. i ran into mitch mcconnell a couple years ago and he asked why did i switch parties? i talked about the social issues. but the republicans never did a darn thing to try to control
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health-care costs. health care costs are absolutely going to destroy the country. not to mention americans are taking care of -- are not taking care of their help. you go to the hospital and there's $100,000 for five days. i know the president tried to tackle it. it was not handled really well. but my brother, his insurance goes up every year. everybody's insurance keep goes up -- going up. the things republicans preach, they talk about gas prices. republicans want to continue oil subsidies. my question is what can be done on the health care costs? i don't see anything happening, because i don't think both sides will come together. if anything, i think it will get more partisan. i think health care costs are absolutely going to detroit this economy -- destroy this economy. guest: health care costs are a
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sufficient. first thing we need to do is get an economic recovery. give this economy and help it needs, give the private sector the breathing room for more support from the government temporarily, so we can get back to full employment. health-care costs are an ongoing issue of. the interesting thing about the republican position is that they are absolutely dedicated to the proposition that the only answer is something that has never worked anywhere, which is rely on private insurance markets. private insurance has never been as successful way of controlling health-care costs anywhere. public health care, there are lots of different ways to do health care. there's the swiss version, there is the french version, the british, and all of them actually do a much better job of containing costs than ours does. as far as we can tell, no cost in the overall quality. some things are better and some things are worse. the president posing health care plan, he threw together a bunch of stuff because or political
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reasons you have to keep private insurance companies in the mix, but it is a really good start. once you have the principal down there that everyone is guaranteed health care coverage and that containing health-care costs will be done by containing costs and not by throwing more people into the abyss into lack that's thee, way to go. i have a book about those issues. right now i'm trying to say the immediate priority is to get those unemployed americans back to work. host: your book looks at deficits and the concern focused on reducing the debt, bringing down the deficit. you call it the folly of a short-term deficit focus. a long-term focus on deficit- reduction versus a short-term focus and how the conversation has shifted and the composition has changed from stimulus to a deficit-reduction. guest: the greeks have a lot to
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answer for. the greek disaster made everybody think the world was about to turn into a greece. they work fiscally irresponsible in the good years. the others were just caught up in a market crisis. so everybody switching to turn about deficit. it is a terrific mistake for a couple reasons. first, now when the economy is depressed is not the time you want to be cutting spending, because that depresses the economy even further. wait until the economy -- would until the private sector has paid down some of the debt that it ran up during the bubble, gets stronger, than you can cut government spending and the private sector can pick up the slack. but not now. i support to bring about the u.s. debt and the u.s. budget. we should have a plan 10 years from now, if we can agree on one, to control our budget
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over the next 10, 20, 30 years, but not now. if cutting spending right now, which is what the republicans want to do and a number of democrats, is a losing strategy even if the only concern you have is with the budget. if you cut spending, it depresses the economy further, which reduces revenues. it also does lots of long-term damage. we have 4 million people who have been out of work more than a year. as that goes on, more and more those people will never be employed again. we have college graduates and not able to find jobs. or if they can, they are jobs that make no use of their education. they will never get back on track. those people are the future taxpayers of america. by doing ill-advised spending cuts now not only are we making the economy worse, we are reducing future revenue, we're making the long run budget picture probably worse instead of better. if anyone says it's about the long term core the short term,
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the cut that we are doing right now is hurting us in the long term as well as the short-term. in the middle ages the doctors thought and you could cure sick people by leading them. bleeding them. when they did, they got sicker. that is what we are doing now with our fiscal policy. host: now to scott on our independent line. caller: i'm actually a member of the human party, the greatest party out there. are there scientific studies into a turnaround our economy right now? you're very first diesel motor that was designed to run off of hemp oil. now it costs $5 a gallon to produce that which we could put in diesel motors today with no modification. if we were to go one step further and go with a marijuana
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plant that produces five times the seeds, week ago at a dollar a gallon for diesel. guest: well, it's fine. we should be trying lots of stuff. one thing i tried to say in this depression now is in a lot of ways the question of how to boost the economy is easier now than it was three years ago when president obama was new in office. then you have to ask what are we going to spend on? now we have had this severe cutback at the state and local level. we have laid off hundreds of thousands of school teachers, firefighters, policeman. we have deferred maintenance. i live in new jersey and there are potholes' everywhere because of deferred maintenance. just by restarting that, by providing federal funds that will allow states and localities to go back to doing normal business, you can give the
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economy of a large boost. it does not require anything innovative or anything speculative. by all means, let's push for alternative energy, all kinds of things. first and foremost, but the school teachers back to work, it's good for education and for children and good for the economy. give us the boost we need get back to a decent job market. host: this question on twitter -- guest: right now you just borrow it. when you are facing -- when you have a really good investment opportunity, if someone is willing to lend you money cheap, you should take the. right now investing in boosting this economy is really good investment opportunities. the u.s. government can borrow money reality police. markets are willing to lend 10- year bonds at under 1.9%. the u.s. government can sell bonds to protect against
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inflation. those have a negative interest rate. so money is available. we will have to pay in the long run regardless. the amount of money that we stand right now makes no difference to the long run picture. we will need some companies to cut additional taxes later. i think we need to do health care costs now and additional revenue source is. but that's not the issue right now. right now the markets are saying, here's our money, take it, use it for something useful. we can do that. host:. a democratic caller in new: caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. it is an honor to speak to mr. krugman. i have been following him for years. i would like to know what he feels about the tobin tax, an idea that was generated by americans of irish descent about taxing everything.
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ond.ock, a b the big corporations have plenty of representation and no taxation. the rest of us are paying taxes. they are paying nothing when they buy and sell stocks in the enormous volumes. the prime minister of the u.k., david cameron, he said that he would support the tobin tax. it's universal. people who do business with selln -- those who buy and stocks, they said there was no benefit for their customers. guest: the idea is to have a small tax on transactions that take place in foreign-exchange markets, stock markets, whatever, a fraction of a fraction of 1 cent. it would serve two purposes. it to generate revenue and somewhat discouraged people from
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doing high-speed jumping in and out of stuff, which can be destabilizing. i don't think that hot money is the core of what went wrong with our economy. i think it was actually longer- term bad decisions. it was bad mortgages, not bad three-month investments, but still part of the issue. and the money could be useful. i'm all for it. the two great financial centers in the world are in london and new york. either one of those is reluctant. we and the british should get together and do this. we speak the same language, so we on this. it's not a panacea, but it is a useful thing. host: let's look at a headline, a picture of the german chancellor angela merkel looking a little frustrated in the picture, like what should we do now?
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a question on twitter -- maybe you could address the big picture for the u.s. economy. guest: sure. there are two kinds of threats. one of them is massive financial collapse, the super version of what happened in 2008. that could be devastating everywhere. the failure of lehman brothers sent the whole world into a slot. something like that in europe could have the same effect. i think that is not too likely, because the european central bank and the federal reserve sort of saw what happened last time. they are standing there. they have essentially unlimited funds to go with this because they print money. i think that is controllable. as for the rest, it is not as bad as people think. european situation is awful. we should be deeply concerned
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about that, but primarily because europe is our ally. europe is the other great democratic entity in the world. it's not the only one, but europe and the u.s. are the two pillars of the democratic world. if things go bad in europe, that is bad for everyone and certainly bad for us. the impact is less than people think. when we look at how much stuff we sell to europe, it's only about 2% of what we produce. even if we take a pretty serious hit to our exports to europe, it's not going to be a huge blow to the u.s. economy. i am worried always about our economy. a number of things to worry about. i mostly worry about the european break up because of what it means for europe and for the future of the world, not for what it means in the u.s. economy for the next quarter. host: on twitter --
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guest: no. it is a most amazing thing. people want to believe it works, so they keep on promoting success stories. summer of 2010 and again in the fall of last year, but they were not recovering. their economy is still a mess. latvia, it is supposed to be a success story. it is true that they are growing, but that is after hedging a full great depression level slumped. there are still down by double digits from where they were before the crisis. people go back through history and they look for suppose examples of successful austerity, but they all turn out to have circumstances that don't apply rights. if countries that have their own currency and are able to devalue. countries that have high interest rates, market interest rates -- high market interest rates.
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the irish have done everything they were supposed to do and they still cannot borrow. on the open borrow host: jim is calling from the republican line in oklahoma. caller: we are in a phony capitalism now. instead of looking at the keynesian theory we should look at the austrian economic theory. we don't have true capitalism. as far as your comment about the fed, the fed has no money. the answer is they keep forcing people to have medicare tariffs to buy things they don't want. host: we will leave it there and get a response. guest: if this is not true capitalism, fine. it's like the people that always said don't look at what was going on in the soviet union
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because it was not true communism. we have the same system we have had for basically since world war ii. we have had a government that provides a safety net, we have some regulation. that system works pretty well for a long time. it is not as if this is some untried experiment that we just discovered does not work. we have had over 60 years of this system. if you want to believe in some perfect world that does never existed, that we cannot recover until we go there, fine. austrians, let's say this, we have had a pretty strong test of differing views. one view says writing government deficits even during a depression would send interest rates skyrocketing. and does not happen during the also said by the fed printing money was going to lead to hyperinflation. lots of prediction out there for austrians about hyperinflation
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by 2012. and does not happen to. positions that austerity would improve confidence. look at europe. that has not happened. we have had as close to a set of experiments in different economic doctrines the past three years as anyone could ask for. basically, the keynesian view, people who went with that you have been right about all the major stories these past three years. host: paul krugman as a recent column in the new york times earth to ben bernanke at." let's listen to a response that the total reserfederal reserve n had in response to people that say he should have a higher inflation rate to achieve lower unemployment. >> the view of the committee is
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that would be very reckless. we at the title will reserve have spent 30 years building up credibility for low and stable inflation. we have been able to take a strong accommodative action in the last 4 or 5 years to support the economy without leading to the stabilization of inflation and. to risk that asset for what i think would be quite tentative and perhaps doubtful gains on the real side would not be a wise thing to do. host: what is your response? guest: the first thing is, among the critics called for a higher inflation in times like these was a guy by the name of ben bernanke, who was very critical of the bank of japan 10 years ago for following pretty much the same course as the fed is falling right now.
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it is central banker speak. they love to talk about credibility. i understand there are some concerns there. you have to put the quite small risks of taking some more aggressive and actiaction. we're talking about a target of 3% or 4% inflation versus the reality of destructive extremely high unemployment. in every month that this goes by, we are losing more people who will never get back to the work force. more american families are being torn apart by suffering from the unemployment. it is incumbent on the fed to take some risks to its precious credibility in an attempt to rescue americans from this. i don't think the fed can do it on its own, but it is one of the institutions that have some backing. i wish that chairman bernanke
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woodcreek again what professor bernanke had to say on exactly this subject. i believe in the academic years he had it right. he has become too much of a central banker. host: can you explain the culture of group think that you feel exist and that mr. bernanke might be facing? guest: this is just speculation, but we don't know at this point. i would like to mention he has a notebook in which he writes the truth is i actually believe paul krugman, of economist who have been urging him to do more, that they actually have it right. he did not say it was his view. he said "the view of the committee." think about the institutional imperatives. do you like the idea that it's your job to cause an economic recovery or do you like the notion that your job is to do what is considered to be
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responsible for the fed to do and as long as you have done that, then whatever happens to the economy is not our fault? one makes life much easier for the institution. what has happened is that he and the people around him have ended up putting priority over making life easy for the fed, which is not their job. they're not there to have an easy life. their mandate says price stability but also full employment. host: paul krugman is a new "new york times columnist and author of the new book in on this depression now." --and this depression now -- " end this depression now!"\ ..ller
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>> when he called for up funded wars, i said don't do this. there's a war choice at a time when the economy is in the in need of stimulus. this is all wrong. i was actually somebody who was very much against irresponsible budgeting. unfortunately that was what we did. now with the economy deeply depressed, now is the time to spend. the appropriate policy depend on situations and we're in a very different situation. i just don't buy the premise. it's not true about me. if you want to say we had artificial stimulus. it's been world war ii. it's 67 years ago. the question, if you think that's unsustainable policy, wow, that's a pretty long run.
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it's only the missteps we've made in the past few years that's a real disaster. host: , ron ask what level of death will you take where you no longer to borrow money? guest: advance countries got a lot of leeway. most interesting thing. we have these debates and some people say john said, government spending is the answer but back in the 1930s, government didn't have the kind of debt level they have now. turns out britain had a substantially higher level of debt relative to gop gdp we have now. japan it's 200%. japan, people have been predicting a japanese debt
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crisis for as long as i can remember, basically for about a dozen years. they lost enormous amounts of money by doing so. the fact of the matter s japan is a stable advance country with the ability to raise taxes and they are able to borrow at less than 1% interest rates. i don't know where that red line is. all the evidence suggest long way us up to where we are now. now is not the time to obsess about that level. go back to the point i made at the beginning, slash and spending does not improve the situation. slash and spending is actually going to make things worse. i'm terribly afraid of the level of debt, if you're going to do a host: paul krugman('úz# we her a republican congressman
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let's take it a step further. the congressman is talking about town halls where people are afraid of the debt. where do that fear come from? we're hearing from you don't worry about it so much now. where is the america getting this terror of debt? where does it come from? guest: a lot of it, it's actually the beltway echo chamber. people in washington talking about it. a lot of teem that talk about the debt don't care about it at all. there's all of this talk about debt from washington. some of it comes from people who made a career doubt of warning about the debt. not that i have a particular grudge, lot of the organizations serious warnings about debt. the other thing is, you can look at polls from the 1930s.
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look at polls from 1936, lots of people said president roosevelt should cut spending and i'm worried about the debt. in 1937 he did just that, sent the u.s. economy into a tailspin. the economy had a pretty good recovery and went downhill again. the fact that the public has got a view which is larged conditioned by what they read in the newspaper and what they hear from people like the congressmen, that's not a guide for what we should be doing in term of actual policy. host: jackie in santa clara, california line. caller: paul i watched you last night on msnbc. i have a comment and question. the question was the surplus, which should have been used to pay back social security.
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we have the first bush cuts where i got $500 i want rich people got thousands of dollars. the second bush cut, the iraq war, the afghan war. my question is, if those things had not happened and obama had not inherited all of the problems from bush, is there any way to judge where our economy would be right now? guest: you know i have a pretty strong -- i think we would have had the crash. we would be in this depression even if we haven't had those bush tax cuts and the wars. this thing was building. it was actually 30 years of financial deregulation. people forgot how bad the economy can get. they got careless.
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that includes politicians. we took away the safeguards that have been put up in the 1930s. and we manage to reproduce the experience of the great depression. what is true about the bush policies, some of the financial deregulation, some of the relaxation of rules took place under bush. there were some serious attempts by state attorney generals to do something. subprime abuses and the bush administration stopped those cold. without those unfunded wars and be around $3 trillion less than it is. a lot of people will be lot more relaxed spending the money we spend. i like to see -- i think we have to do that spending anyway but boy, we did exactly what you shouldn't do.
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we rap deficits during the -- ran deficits during the good years. i'm all for being fiscally responsible when the economy is strong enough. the result we came with a debt number. host: republican caller, good morning clyde. caller: i want to continue the conversation. this is a quote from john from 1920.ebmçç continue use process of inflation government can confiscate secretly citizens. it does it in a manner that not one man in a million can diagnose.
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let me -- host: clyde, why are you sharing that with us? caller: the year back in 1971, i grossed $3000 off that acre. yet, think still close about $30 an ounce. today if i have that same acre and have the same purchases, i would have to have 88,245 paper federal reserve. i tell you what, keynesian destroyed our country. if you want to end this
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depression -- that is the problem. that's the way to end the depression. guest: , okay, let me say. hyperinflations, we are in situations where governments trying to pay their bills by printing money and prices go through the roof are a bad thing. that's what keynesian was writing about. that is not what we're going through. it's just not the story. it completely different animal. this is not the point. we had -- people talk a lot about inflation. they obsess about inflation. they talk about the stories of
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inflation. i think it's interesting that the german talks endlessly about the 1933 inflation. deflation. policyies, the right policy depend on certain circumstances. this is the time to be worried about a deeply depressed economy which does call for printing some money. host: paul krugman has a new book out called, end this depression now. we are using a new medium called house. let's take a listen that came in as a question.
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caller: i believe it's a chronic condition. the answer for me for individuals to have cut my spending and raise my income. guest: this gets to the heart of the issue. a country is not-áé an individuz my spending is your income and your spending is my income. while i cut my spending, i can be in better shape if i do it by myself. if i cut my spending and you cut your spending, both of us end up poor. we end up with less income and whatever we gain in the spending cuts are more than made up in the loss of income. right now we have a situation where a large part of america for a good reason is being forced to spend less.
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households ran up too much debt during the crisis. if that's all that happens, all that you have is a lot of players in the economy is spending, then you get a depression. now is the time for the federal government to act as a fly meal to do the opposite what the private sector is doing. think also about the country that practiced austerity. think about greece or ireland. you can say people are in trouble should spend less. should they also work less? they should work more. their way of dealing with spending is to drastically reduce their income. that cannot be right. basically what any sort of reasonable economic analysis says, we have to find a way to
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keep people employed. we have to find a way to have this economy produce. if you try and think of it in terms of household budget, you're going to be led into a disaster instead of policy decision. host: let's hear from an independent caller. charlie is up next. caller: good morning mr. krugman is good to talk to you. please get off msnbc and get on fox news. could you explain -- guest: i don't like talking on tv shows. i will cut off my microphone during the argument. caller: can you explain to american people the economic base multipliers? they don't understand the dollars that are put into the economy generate up to $1.75 and how that kind of thing work?
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could you also explain when i look at what our country is doing the best economically, our tax rates are around 38 to 50 percent.ea÷ç when our country is doing theñl worse economically, it's when we're at the lower tax rate level because it's spending and the economic drivers driving the economy. when i hear tea party and let's cut government and let's kill it all. guest: so, the multiplier, think about what i think we should be doing now. which is to be rehiring those school teachers rehighing firefighters. they will be directly employing those people because those are
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real jobs. anybody teaching first grade not a real job has not actually tried to teach young kids. also that will put more money in the pocket of school teachers and firefighters who will then spend on other things. a dollar put into the economy -- at a time like this when the economy is operating with lots unemployment, actually generates additional spending. it's not just the direct employment from the spending but the indirect effects of it. that's the multiplier. it's probably around $1.50 right now, we think. that's the part of the story. about taxes, suppose that i proposed that we go to an america where tax rates on the rich were much higher than they are now. also where the minimum wage was way higher than it is right now
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relative to the average earnings and which unions were much more powerful where they were a third of the workforce. lot of people will say that's a disaster. that would be a collapsing economy. i just described the narrative of the 1950s. america in the 1950s had higher taxes at the top. had much stronger protections for workers. it also experienced best generation of economic growth that we ever had in this country. a lot of what goes on now. what people think is the truth is prejudice is by propaganda campaign. we actually have the demonstration that says what you need is good education, you need good infrastructure. try and imagine doing interstate highway system today. that's what leads to successful economy. host: up in sandusky, ohio, deborah join us from the
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democrats line. caller: i agree with everything you say mr. krugman. we pay our taxes. when we want the police and fire department, we want them here. the way things are going, our governor is going to get rid of everything. i want to thank you very much for your book. guest: as a resident to new jersey who goes into new york quite a lot, i am seriously annoyed governor yells at people who canceled the well developed plan to put a second rail tunnel into the hudson river. it's amazing. whatever happened to the country that used to think about the country? host: finally house republicans
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see sequestration. guest: now is not the time. the president made a mistake by thinking he can deal in good faith with the republicans. it is kind of amazing that they are prepared to defend any claims they really care about efficiency and government. it's one area of government that have lot of clear ways of defense spending. in order to avoid anything to trying to avoid those costs. they are willing to inflict enormous suffering on the victim of our society. host: paul krugman columnist of the new york times, he's also nobel prize winner.
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thank you so much for joining us this morning. coming up next our spot light on magazines. we'll take a look at harpers magazine may 2012 edition. first this news update from c-span radio. >> we're picking up on mr. krugman's comment. the house armed services committee meets this morning to work on version of the 2013 defense department budget that rejects administration call for military base closing. the spending blue print calls for a base budget. that compares with the administration's proposed figures of $551 billion. you can watch that markup session at 10:00 a.m. it expected to go past
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10:00 p.m. eastern. today at the white house, the president host nato secretary fog rasmussen. the two leaders will discuss final preparation for the nato summit. the president will hosting that meeting in chicago may 20 and 21st. u.s. mortgage giant fannie mae said it made money in the first 3 months of the year. it's the first time the company has reported a net income gain since it was taken over by the government during the financial crisis. the company say the improvement was due to slower home price decline and fewer mortgages in serious delinquency. fannie mae received about $116 billion so far in the treasury department. that's the most single bailout of a single company. host: harpers magazine
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contributing editor ben austin is here. part of spotlighted on magazine series. this piece is about public house and the evolution of it. ben austin join us from nashville. thanks so much for being with us let's talk about the evolution of public housing and where it come. when did public housing high-rising like the one you profiled in chicago begin getting built? guest: these were built in the '50s and '60s. they went up all across the united states ab#7 industrial cities in western europe. this is part of johnson's great society. that's when you really start seeing all the high-rises. additionally, it started pretty people. host: as we look at them today with the eyes of modern times, the high-rise building very sterile and neutral. you write about at the time they
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considered model. guest: architect and sort of the idea of the garden in the park that you would have he's towers and they will be surrounded by gardens. you right the modern design was cutting edge at the time. later, it seems like embodiment of government sterile buildings. host: what happened ben austin? talk to us housing projects begin their decline and fall. guest: they're really underfunned from the start. it takes a lot of money to run a building to do repair. right away budgets get cut after they are built. there's also a strong argument that there was too many children in these buildings. that the ratio in a lot of places was about 4 to 1 to these adults.
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it was hard to monitor these children and they could get bored. children going out and playing in playgrounds, parents who had to be on upper floor watch them. kids used the elevator as play toys. there were so many kids that playgrounds broke. that's the second thing that happened. thirdly, a law was passed in the '60s that was well intentioned to sort of preserve public housing just for the most needy. it ended up forcing out people who actually paid rent and who were more working class. after that, the public housing really becomes the the depository of the poorest. host: we're doing a study in our magazine looking a at piece called last housing by ben austin. if you like to join the conversation about public housing, give us a call.
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ben austin, you talk about careening green, which is a well known housing block in chicago. some describe it as notorious. you start the story talking about its demolition. what was the reaction of the people who lived there for so long watching it come down? tell us about their reputation of careen green? guest: i'm a chicagoan originally. even within chicago, it's almost never described without words like notorious or infamous. it's known as the scary place becomes kind of a proper name and urban catastrophe. people think of it in terms of
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just danger inner city. all of things that happened in america over the last 25 years or 30 years sort of escaping cities. so, one of the things that was really surprising, you go and speak to residents they made some sort of home there. it may have been not under ideal conditions but it was they're their life. they felt that they were being cast off in some way and cast off into an unknown place. sort of insufficient place that the one you don't know anything about. host: let's hear from shane from new york city who is on our independent line. caller: hi libby. thank you. i want to call in and say that it's really one of the things that is destroying public housing.
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the media also look and cast down people that live in public housing. they are talking about whatever -- yes there is drug and violence in public housing. but the media goes to make it look really bad. i know people from around different parts of america. they all have the same opinion of public housing. it makes it impossible to get a job sometimes. it makes impossible for people to look past where you're from. no one talks about the deon sanders who stayed in public housing and they did. guest: jimmy carter. host: let's get a response from our guest. guest: what shane is saying is right.
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it's really the extreme version of that. it's sort of the most iconic and mediated housing project. people around the country know it because they seen it on television or movies like candy man and people crack jokes about it. it becomes a slang term for ghetto or scary. it's in rap songs. it's really everywhere. it becomes embodiment of this idea that these are off limit places, that the people who live there are terrify. if you go in there, you probably be murdered or some terrible things will happen. you see like a history of the place like careenny green not just the history of housing, what shane was saying like abstraction of people that live there. the city is a terrifying place and these people, mostly black,
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are people to avoid. he's right, but then you don't really grapple with the reality of the place. you only sort of deal with the horror story version. host: let's hear from chicagoan from democrat line. caller: good morning how are you? i have a point to sort of support what ben said. one is, i have a grandmother who live one of the chicago housing projects and it was very interesting during that time, we were privately talking about the 1970s. it was more of a transition point. it was for people who were working and needed a place to stay and needed to improve their surroundings or able to go to these places, get themselves together and move on to purchase
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property. that changed at some point in time to become only poor people. entire housing project system. the second thing that i wanted to mention was the impact of the housing system on the general community. i actually grew up in south shore, which was not a project community. it was middle to upper#;e middle class people. when in the late 1980s, the projects would close down. there was no formal relocation program. many of these poor people flooded the south side black community and had a horrible dynamic effect on these communities. guest: , i'm also from south shore. two things there. one is in the '70s, things
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really did happen in the city and cities across america that made these places worse. jobs left and factories closed. there were fewer jobs. the crack epidemic which comes in the late '80s and early '90s, really changed the dynamic as well. gang culture changes a great deal. gang was one sort of groups become naturally big economic players. i guess i would say about the relocation in chicago, which is just this incredibly mass enterprise starts in 2000. it's called plan for transformation. they're going to tear down and change all the housing and redevelop it and really downsize. the relocation was kind of a mess at first. people weren't prepared, they were sent often into
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neighborhoods that were just uniformly poor and black where they left one. i also think sort of some studies have shown that the idea that these people brought crime with them is also part of the sense that projects are scary places. that the people that are there, they carry around their crime and their poverty like a disease. one of them that does happen that young people cross gang lines. some hugely terrible high crime rate in chicago has been blamed on housing projects coming down and youth being forced to go to into new neighborhood and new high schools and so on. host: in 1995 the blueprint for the reinvention of hud housing proposed weeping changes across the scope of things.
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tell us about what happened in 1995. how did things evolve? guest: you think this was one year after the republican take over in the house in 1994. clinton, sort of anticipating a lot of backlash, start to really change the program, diminish its size. much the same way he did with welfare. privatized a lot of it. tried to get people all the rolls as a way of showing success. a law in '95 passed part of this that allows for the first time. this really allows city to suddenly say, let's take this area and rebuild and we don't have to build more units of public housing. [ñ lot of this happened, people were sent to towers and they were given
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section 8 vouchers to get an apartment in the private sector. you bring this voucher to a landlord and the government will pay the percentage of the rent that yout8çw3 can afford. it's kind of get the federal government and the city government and sometimes the state government not to be a landlord anymore. they actually just managing a much more private enterprise at that time. host: mary wrote on twitter said similar thing happening in atlanta. big windings were quick to tear down. so ben austin for your piece, we also want to hear how did it go? as you talk to people who were moved out who were taken out. how has it gone for them? guest: atlanta is interesting case. because of the run up to the
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olympics. they raised all the high-rise public housing. people who were visiting the city from all over are not going to see those kind of markers of poverty in what we've come to see. you go to a city and you look for high-rise and you ask where the off limit place were. these all disappeared in atlanta and it was the most sweeping effort. the scale was much smaller in chicago. it varies. to be really fair, it was a little bit like welfare reform. this is what people argue. this isn't talking individual, this is sort of more of sociologist would say that about a third of the people needed that kick and they ended up doing better once they left. went to other places or they went into a different kind of
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structure. maybe a third just fell out the bottom. they needed the support. people went to various kinds of housing after it. they went into the private market where section 8 vouchers. they went into other high-rises that were further from the center of the city so they're on the perimeter. it was kind of an argument that a city like chicago and other cities in america starting to look more say like, paris. poor and working class are living outside the center and this sort of facilitates that. thirdly, this the center piece of much the reform in chicago and across the country, they build these things called mixed income housing developments where they want poor people and public housing families and then actually market rate families people who are paying full dollar for their condos all to live in the same building right
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next to each other. it's a huge sort of social experiment. it's really fascinating and i can talk more about that as well. that's sort of the replacement. poor people will live next to middle class and wealthy people will gain their value. they will gain middle class value. host: austin, you profiled one woman who talked about her experience after living in public funded home. you said before she was in the houses, she fled rats, and roaches. she couldn't stand to be with all of that. where sheçç is now was bettert it was lonely. she was trying to make it feel like a home but mostly felt like a hotel. you talk about how her neighbors didn't relate to her. there were double standards for higher income people and lower she didn't have the community.
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she didn't have the extended family around that project actually provided. guest: it's really a complicated place. she lives in a beautiful apartment with a view overlooking where the former tower stood. now there's empty field and a target store and starbucks and other good places to go. yes, it's not exactly a home. some people might argue and maybe even some callers would say maybe that's a good thing. people should think of it as a hotel. that it's transitory place and you use it as a steppingstone to the next thing. it's not a clear solution. i will sort of go back. this woman's name is dobora hope. she's kind of a beautiful person who suffered incredible amount. she also has always wonder her whole life.
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has always participated in the community. she has now mostly white and middle class neighbors and even wealthier than that. some of these people bought their condos during the boom. she said a lot of them don't even talk to her. they don't even respond to her when she says hello. host: let's go to rochester, minnesota. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am from puerto rico. i was raised in public housing. we have had all the problem that mr. austin had been speaking of.
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one solution that the puerto rican government, they try to have what's called private and public consortium. that way, they have done such good job that many people are asking for it. we are in that stage. but so far, people have been given a lot of importance in order to manage the project. we pray that this will go away. thank you for your answer. guest: thank you ida. i don't know a lot about specifics in puerto rico. the public and private partnerships that you described is really happening everywhere. for one reason, once you cut public funding, you can't do anything until you find other money somewhere else.
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paul krugman finished his piece with with you by saying think of country we were. we're not that country anymore. we don't believe in the same social contract. most of these programs have been gutted in terms of funding. you have to go to the private sector. there's some benefits of that and also many disadvantages because someone else has an agenda. the other thing that she said that are certainly a bigñud parf the transformation in chicago and elsewhere is trying to get residents involved and participation and somehow the planning process. there certainly big disputes about whether that's been successful or not. where something like."d the chio housing authority saying that residents really have been active participants and some resident leaders saying participation has been a total sham. that they were never really determining their own fate in
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this process. host: let's look at the budget numbers for hud. housing and urban development budget numbers $37 billion, that's $4 billion cut from last year. 9% of the budget was cut. it's $5 billion less than the president's request. ben austin talk to us where hud money goes and who over sees and how it get down to local level? guest: about 50% of the budget end up going to section 8 housing. that's been the factor of public housing in the country. this is the billingest enterprise that they do. money is dispersed throughout the country often to states and very large housing authority and then it gets distributed on a local level. there are a few programs that hud has that give money directly to cities and counties. there's one mostly through block
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grants but those were cut even more in this last budget and have been cut a great deal more in recent years. this is just cities sort of needing it most. they are being gutted out the program. yes, you're right. to mention sort of this is an easy place politically for people to cut because who is really going to speak up and make a big fuss about this? i mentioned in the article and this i got -- this is what i got from a chicago reporter. what you described as hud budget, it's barrier of what we lose annually and enter into tax deductions for mortgages. the majority which goes to richest population. we believe in subsidized housing but we believe on higher end.
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you think if that was cut, more people would really react and raise a fuss that the poor can't. host: diana join us from massachusetts. democrat line. high diana. caller: good morning ben. i have a pretty quick question for you actually. i read that after hurricane katrina hit new orleans, they had pulled down some high-rise housing projects in the lower parishes that were damaged. kind of using that as a excuse, they never rebuilt them. i think it displaced probably thousands of people. i wonder if that was true and whatever happened to those people. thank you. guest: i actually was talking to walter isaac the other day about this. i was speaking about something else that came up. he's from new orleans. my impression was the same thing
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they use the flood as a way to bring down all public housing which were not quite high-rise because the ground is not as strong. his argument was that these are populated anyway. that these were areas that prone to more flooding and this is sort of the correct kind of downsizing of the city. those people were brought into and actually in layout, they were brought back to other areas. i don't know if they're doing well or what the transition to others and what's that's been like and how they interspersed with other middle class or sort of different racial diversity. i'm not sure. host: ben austin is editor at
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harper's magazine. he's looking at his piece in this month's issue, it's called last tower, the decline and fall of public housing. it's part of our weekly pot light on magazine series. let's hear from jerry republican in idaho falls, good morning. caller: good morning how you are ben? guest: well. caller: ben, i had a question. at the time our constitution was written, there were a number of credits of that concept of government. people governing themselves through their elected officials. one of them was frederick from france and essentially, the criticism was that under democracy, once people learn that they were able to vote their way into the public
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coiffures, that democracy could not survive in the long run because eventually, there will be more people riding on the cart and pulling the cart. in other words, i guess my question is, when the constitution was written, the government was given very specific powers and prohibited from doing other things. my question simply stated is, provid -- federal government providing public housing is that a rightful function of the federal government? guest: that's a really fair question. i guess i would say two things to say. one is the stat i just mentioned the amount of money that is spent or lost in tax deductions for mortgages. we are subsidizing housing but on a higher end. is that the rightful place for
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government as well? why on that end an not on the lower end? the other thing is that people describe housing as foundational. meaning from having a house, they can then do the other things that need to be done. get a job, be healthy, get an education. without a house, they don't have that foundation. so, maybe then it's a cost effective way to deal with some of the those other social ills to sort of think about housing in that way. it's not a constitutional right. it's not a fundamental right. i quoted someone in an article pointing that out to me as well. whether it should be or whether we should be engaged in this. that's a different kind of argument. host: from hud's website, department of housing and urban development. work look at the mix. the federal agency responsible
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for programs that?3t( address america's housing needs and enforce fair housing laws. hud's business is helping free decent homes for all americans and have given american communities a strong national voice. supporting homeownership. ben, how has that mission changed over the last few years as the mortgage crisis hit and reality of homeownership and that goal changed? guest: definitely hud is contracting and trying to do more with less. i mentioned the block grants given directly to cities which give them a lot of leeway to do whatever they want with that money. even if cities are suffering, those programs have been slashed. they cut some other programs. it's still in the business of
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helping low income people with housing. it's just doing it in a very different way. the thing i would hear over and over again, sort of the idea that housing authority and sort of the big one in washington and other ones are sort of want to get out of the business of being a landlord. that it's better facilitator of housing opportunity to move this around rather than to sort of actually be the one who's in charge of fixing the elevator or changing the lightbulbs in the stairwell and making sure the rent is paid on time. host: we have an independent caller welcome. you're on the air. caller: yes, thanks for taking my call. i live in a public housing. before that, i used to work in the public houseing in
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minneapolis. i seen the -- i see them misusing tax credit money that's suppose to help the residents. half people find jobs and they train them. i think that's all over the country. i don't think it's just here. host: thanks for sharing your story. he talked about problems with the management looking down on the tenants and not fulfilling their contract. talk about that for us ben.
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guest: someone argued that chicago used to be the worse place in terms of housing authority managing thing. it was taken over by the federal government in '95. it was so mismanaged and claims of corruption and nepotism running through. building apartments were not being repaired. there was a lawsuit in chicago one of the housing project that claim that people had to leave for kind of de facto demolition. they stopped repairing apartments. a place that was 80% full, 10 years later was almost empty. other people moved in and squatters andñiç gangs. the city stopped filling theouts and repairing them. that's definitely an issue. you brought up the hope issue, which is a privately run mixed
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income community. she also has similar problems where the laws seem arbitrary. they seem to target herá other housing residents and not those who actually managed by a condo association under the same roof. they sort of had different management bodies. it's difficult to sort of figure out. when a big experiment fails like this, does it mean that we don't do anything of comparable size or do we give up? does it mean we try to do something that meet demand but we try to do it better. so far what we've done is do something that's much smaller. the mixed income communities, whether they're failing or succeeding, the scale is just so low. in chicago, think it's about 2000 former public housing residents who moved into them throughout the city.
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about 400 former residents. it's really just in terms of scale, it's suppose to be low density. only about a third of the population is public housing. it's not with the need at all. it's never going to replace the public school because you just not going to meet all the student's needs. host: charlie from florida, democratic caller. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. we became a great country and people want to follow us because we have an attitude about our poor. we didn't have this system of high, middle or low. we had this view to try to lift those who had less than we had. now the public education stuff, it's fantastic. that's what gave us this
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country. the same thing with the public housing. as you said, it was successful until this changed and they started to put all people unemployed and put them one big pocket. therefore demonstrating the poverty that we have in this nation. now we transfer public money into private hands. they are making millions of dollars. where are these poor people when they are distributed throughout the united states? they become invisible. guest: hub housing in chicago, -- public housing in chicago. citizens were taken to the
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streets and actually rioting and violently -- they decided they wouldn't have the public housing high-rise in their ward. the city stayed more segregated even from the start. actually you asked when it was built, in the '60s it was stopped. finally there was a segregation. many of the problems were right from the building of these. part of what you arguing too, the caller is that, once these entitlement programs start to be seen as mostly black and poor, there's a different attitude% this is also seen a great deal in welfare reform where the idea of the welfare mom is certainly
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in inner city person of color. when you actually do the statistics, welfare is often a larger percentage of the money goes to white people in the country. that's part of a changing attitude that have become more distant, more abstract. we're able to kind of move away from these programs and not feel as committed to them. host: let's get one more call. henry from new york city, republican go ahead. you're on the program go ahead. caller: hello, thank you for taking my call. i wanted to comment on the housing market and the section 8 vouchers. i think that these vouchers are affecting the rest of people who pay premium rents. i, forone, me and my wife live in a high-rise luxury building.
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we pay over $1700 a month in rent. we work very hard. to see people come in with section 8 vouchers and live right next to us. i don't think that they should live in such nice buildings and not really paying for it or not paying the full amount of rent. maybe the federal government can save some funds if they would subsidize lower rents. there are cheaper represent they can subsidize. maybe they can save $1000 or $500 per tenant. maybe the housing market will be rent. if you have like answer to that question, does it effect the premium market. i appreciate. thank you c-span. guest: it's hugely complicated issue from the other side. you're paying full price and emergency being in a mixed income building and you bought your place and you bought


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